Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), the world’s largest district cooling services provider, announced that it has achieved a net profit of AED 804 million in 2018, with an increase of 4% year on year (YoY) 2017. Empower’s total revenues reached Dh2.0bn with an increase of approximately 4% compared to the previous year.
The announcement of Empower’s financial results for 2018 was made by CEO Ahmad Bin Shafar in Dubai who also revealed the plans for Empower’s new headquarter which is set to be completed by 2021 with a total budget of around Dh300mn.
“2018 marked another successful year for Empower with steady growth in Revenues, EBITDA and Net Profit. Empower’s EBITDA exceeded AED 1.0 bn and this is a clear indication of the strength of Empower’s business model and its operational strategies”, said Mr. Bin Shafar.
Empower has always focused on raising awareness about District Cooling Services among developers, investors and building-owners. We continued expanding in our existing developments and also signed new master development agreements during the year 2018. These included the iconic “Deira Waterfront Development” and the luxurious “Al Barari Development”. Empower also acquired the Al Barari District Cooling Plant and Network, constructed by the master developer, during the year 2018.
While we focus on adding new capacities, we also keep a tight rein on costs and will continue to drive efficiency improvement through implementation of new technologies and business processes. Empower’s innovative solutions of ‘360 Solution for Metering Artificial Intelligence, AIMS 360’ and ‘Energy Transfer Solution Flow Control Optimisation Using Statistical Process Control’ were duly acknowledged and awarded by International District Energy Association (IDEA), USA.
During 2018, Empower settled loans worth Dh672mn ($183mn) ahead of its schedule. With these repayments, Empower has fully settled its bank borrowings, for a total value of Dh2.67bn ($728mn), and closed its books with “Zero Debt” balance in 2018.
Bin Shafar highlighted that district cooling has become an essential part of urban development in modern cities. This is due to the increasing demand for efficient, energy-saving and environmentally-friendly district cooling services. Empower awarded several projects in 2018 to build new district cooling plants in various parts of Dubai.
These included - the world’s first unmanned and fully automated district cooling plant worth Dh250mn, with a total capacity of 50,000 RT in Jumeirah Village project, and Dh169mn project to develop existing cooling plants in Barsha Heights with a total capacity of over 31,000 RT. Empower also completed the expansion project of its 62,000 RT DIFC plantroom, worth Dh60mn in 2018.
The company has signed a contract to design two new district cooling plants in Business Bay, with a combined capacity of 90,000 RT, increasing the total production capacity to 225,000 RT in the Business Bay project.
Empower has also began designing a 40,000 RT new district cooling plant at Dubailand Residence Complex, and awarded contracts worth AED 175 million to expand its pipeline network on Sheikh Zayed Road, to serve Dubai Arena, Al Wasl and other towers in the area.
Customer happiness is one of Empower’s main priorities
Empower’s customer base has increased to approximately 100,000 customers. Bin Shafar stressed that the company has developed a clear strategy that prioritizes customer happiness and satisfaction, and has included these values among its main objectives.
Empower offers customers e-services that saves their time and effort and allow them to complete their transactions without visiting Empower’s branches. These include bill payment, accessing past invoices, registering with Empower’s services, placing and tracking requests, and viewing consumption rates online. These services also enable customers to carefully plan their consumption, which in turn helps them to reduce energy utilization and results in savings in their monthly bills.
In addition, Empower has recently launched a new online system that allows customers to request for their final bills, pay dues, settle their account and obtain the clearance certificate without visiting Empower office or branches.
In 2018, Empower strengthened its partnerships with financial and banking organizations to enable its customers to view and pay their bills through the smart services offered by these entities. Following a successful partnership with Emirates NBD and Al Ansari Exchange, Empower has recently signed a new agreement with Noor Bank to enable its customers to easily pay their bills through Noor Bank’s website or smart applications without any extra charge.
15 years of Achievements
“We are very happy and proud of our achievements. Our journey to provide environmentally-friendly district cooling services began in 2004, with one temporary cooling plant servicing Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) project. Although we started with 6,000 Refrigeration Tonnes (RT) at that time, our vision was to become the world’s largest district cooling services provider, and we have achieved the same through our expansionist and a cautious approach. Our strategy is based on enhancing district cooling services across Dubai and hence, our capacity has grown from 1.34 million RT in 2017 to 1.43 million RT in 2018,” said Bin Shafar.
Dubai becomes Champion city for the district cooling sector
Bin Shafar stressed that Empower will continue its leading role in the district cooling sector globally, with the support of the UAE’s wise leadership, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai was announced as the ‘Champion city for the district cooling sector’, on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the 8th International District Energy Association (IDEA) Annual Conference, which was held in Dubai, during December 2018 which is a clear testament of widespread adoption of energy efficient district cooling services in the Emirate.
Our commitment to our customers and stakeholders is to create continued value, said Bin Shafar. We expect that demand for energy efficient district cooling services will grow in the years to come and Empower will continue to invest in its world-class district cooling infrastructure to create environmental friendly neighborhoods.
Empower has more than 1,090 buildings that are using district cooling services, catering to more than 100,000 customers. The company operates more than 1.43 Million Refrigeration Tonnes (RT), providing environmentally friendly district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments, such as Bluewaters, Jumeirah Group, Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Ibn Battuta Mall, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai World Trade Centre Residences and Dubai Design District, amongst others.